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How often do you get blood drawn?

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SecretKeeper:
My husband had his first blood draw in mid to late June and his docs are waiting 3 months before doing another one.  I'm concerned his docs aren't being as vigilant as they could be, but maybe I'm just an over-concerned wife.

Queen Tokelove:
Welcome to the Forums. Honestly, it may be hard to say but it could also be that your husband's number are pretty decent...cd4 and viral load along with some other things. I'm sure one of the other members can give you more information than me. I know when my numbers look good my doc usually schedules me every 3 months. And there is nothing wrong with being concerned about your husband. I suggest you read through some of the other threads. I'm sure you will find some information that could be helpful in understanding what is going on with your husband and this virus.

Jerry71:
I get my drawn every four months!

SecretKeeper:
His CD4 is a low 300 something (I think maybe 319) and his VL was 9000 - he was at 17%.  My concern is that he's developing all this "little" problems with his mouth - red spots all over the roof of his mouth.  He actually has had thrush for awhile now - that's what made him decide to get tested.  He's very obsessed about looking in his mouth and weighing himself every day - several times a day.  I'm worried there are things going on that he's not even telling me about.  He's very guarded about the whole thing and I never know if I'm getting the whole truth or only bits and pieces.
One day he tells me he's going to the doctor to ask them to start him on meds - the next day he tells me he feels like a million bucks and the pomegranate juice & 18 vitamins he's taking must be working miracles.
Do you think the doctors would draw again just to put his mind at ease - October is so far away!

milker:
Hi Secret, welcome to the forums.

Your husband is newly diagnosed and going through ups and downs. The first test is usually setting a baseline so that you can see a trend with future tests, unless the first test is really bad, which is not the case here.

Being newly diagnosed it's very possible that his CD4 may jump back, and 319 is not bad anyway! The VL is low and the doctor is doing the usual thing, waiting 3 months to get a second draw and start getting a trend. Unless there is a dramatic change, you can't really tell much before the 3rd or 4th draw.

It's very tempting to get tested every day, every month, every week, but that doesn't help, he needs to let his body naturally fight the virus, and this takes time before you can actually see how the body reacts.

Taking meds at the beginning of the infection is being talked about now in the scientific community, but there have not been enough studies to really show a serious benefit of doing it that soon. Also, when you start meds, you cannot stop, and you must balance the potential side effects of using meds versus letting your body fight by itself and give it a boost if needed, later, and that could be in 6 months or a couple of years. Adherence, also, is a key to successful treatment, and this has to be discussed with his doctor, because those meds are very timing dependent, and missing doses can lead to virus mutation.

Drawing again may make things worse because as you may know the CD4s go up and down all the time during the course of the day, or show very good numbers and so he may think the pomegranate is the cure.

It is great that you seek the help on those forums, I'm sure many others will have good insight for you. I'm not familiar with thrush so I will let others chime in on that.

Milker.

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